Sunday, August 30, 2009

Time: The Variable Element in Good Teaching

Like Einstein's universe, the fabric of the teaching universe is made up of two variables: space and time. For Einstein, the constant was the speed of light. For teaching, the constant is the speed of learning. Einstein discovered that space and time are variables in the universe; these days, I am discovering the same thing in the classroom. The minutes between 7:45 and 2:35 haven't changed and the space between the walls is the same, but as my perspective has changed, I've gained more space and I've gotten less time.

I was thinking about my perception of time in the classroom today because I was eating lunch with my cousin who is a first year teacher this year. She was talking about having too much time after getting through her lessons and curriculum. I've had that same problem in the past, but recently I have the opposite problem! I have to be aware of the clock and be choosy about what will be included in lessons. Lessons seem to fly by for me now and for my students, but I have certainly had times when every lesson seemed to drag on or I felt like I had too much time in the previous two years.

Space is the same way. Arrangement and organization of students and supplies makes my room feel so much bigger. The walls haven't moved. It's my perspective.

My students' rate of learning is a constant, though. I have to make the time and space given accomodate that.

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